student profile: Mr Cesar Sanchez Avella


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Thesis work

Thesis title: "De un mundo raro": Cultural activism around gender and sexualities in Colombia and Mexico

Supervisors: Lee WALLACE , Kane RACE

Thesis abstract:

Some Latin American countries have witnessed the recent emergence of increasing legal mobilisations aimed at combating the discrimination and crude violence that has affected people with non-normative gender and sexualities in this region. Such mobilisations have been relatively successful, and they have achieved the formulation of public policies for this vulnerable population, as well as the jurisprudential and legislative recognition of their rights. Despite significant legal developments, acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are still very frequent. In this sense, the Critical Legal Studies movement -CLS- is sceptical about considering the law as a tool for social change by itself and states that a real transformation could only be possible through political action outside it. For this reason, cultural activism -understood as the political mobilisation where arts and other cultural expressions are deployed-, despite it has been significantly underestimated, should be considered more seriously. This thesis analyses four cases of cultural activists working in Colombia and Mexico, two countries with different -although consistent- trajectories of activism around gender and sexualities, multiple legal recognitions for same-sex couples, and a worrying situation of violence and discrimination against people with non-normative gender and sexualities. Through ethnographic observation (on-site and virtual) and in-depth interviews with the participant activists, this research addresses the following questions: What are the dynamics of the work of the selected individuals and collectives deploying cultural activism around gender and sexualities in Colombia and Mexico? What are the concepts and discourses informing the work of these activists? What is the transnational politics of their collaborations in Colombia and Mexico? What is the relation between them, the State and other local institutions? What is the current role of cultural activism in the wider mobilisations around gender and sexualities in these countries? Is it possible to articulate legal mobilisation with expressions of cultural activism in the struggles against violence and discrimination based on non-normative gender and sexualities?

Selected publications

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Books

  • Sanchez Avella, C., Forero Castillo, N. (2015). Derecho, Generos y Sexualidades: Diversidad Familiar y Educacion en Perspectiva de Genero. Bogota, Colombia: Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores.
  • Sanchez Avella, C. (2015). Hasta que el amor les dure: Debates en torno a las parejas del mismo sexo en el contexto colombiano. Bogota, Colombia: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

2015

  • Sanchez Avella, C., Forero Castillo, N. (2015). Derecho, Generos y Sexualidades: Diversidad Familiar y Educacion en Perspectiva de Genero. Bogota, Colombia: Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores.
  • Sanchez Avella, C. (2015). Hasta que el amor les dure: Debates en torno a las parejas del mismo sexo en el contexto colombiano. Bogota, Colombia: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.